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German Bundeswehr slams Ukraine’s use of Western warfare methods

Ukraine's counteroffensive tanks
Photo: Ukraine’s General Staff
German Bundeswehr slams Ukraine’s use of Western warfare methods

Bundeswehr (The German Armed Forces) criticized the actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces during the ongoing counteroffensive for not using the Western methods of warfare correctly, according to Bild.

The German military cites the separation of combat units as one of the main shortcomings of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which “makes it impossible” to conduct successful combined arms operations, the Bild reported.

Combined arms is an approach to warfare that seeks to integrate different military combat arms to achieve mutually complementary effects.

The separation of combat units into smaller groups increases the “danger of friendly fire,” i.e., return fire from their troops, and “there are no maneuverable units in the direction of the main attack to launch an offensive or establish firepower,” according to the Bundeswehr.

In other words, because Ukraine breaks down Western-trained brigades into groups of 10-30 soldiers, isolated from the rest of the troops, neither Western training nor Western weaponry can make a difference during the counteroffensive, the Bild reported, referring to a Bundeswehr document.

In addition, the Bundeswehr was critical of the training of experienced Ukrainian soldiers. The Bundeswehr document states that the command staff demonstrates “sometimes significant shortcomings at the appropriate level in the management and application of command processes, which leads to partially incorrect and dangerous decisions.”

According to the Bundeswehr, the split of brigades into smaller groups and the lack of proper training of commanders may explain the slow advance of Ukrainian forces during the counteroffensive.

In its report, the Bundeswehr omitted that Ukraine’s Armed Forces must deal with densely mined areas and multilayered field fortifications spanning hundreds of kilometers. The report also ignored that Ukraine was not supplied with all the military means it requested before the counteroffensive, including Western fighter jets.

In his latest interview with the Washington Post, the Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, was critical of counterparts who had argued that Ukraine would not need F-16 fighter jets to succeed. Western militaries would never fight without fighter jets, Zaluzhnyi said.

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